Darigold strengthens global leadership team

Darigold, Inc., the Seattle-based farmer-owned dairy co-op, has taken strides to strengthen its global leadership team to support the rapid growth of its international business and rising global demand for US-produced dairy products. Effective immediately, the co-op named Kevin Quinn vice president and leader of global sales from its Seattle headquarters, and expanded roles for Mariana Lezama and Batthew Pang, who will each serve as managing directors in the co-op’s offices in Mexico City, Mexico and Shanghai, China, respectively.

“While demand for dairy products continues to grow across the United States, global demand is growing significantly faster,” explained Duane Naluai, chief customer officer at Darigold. “With strong product portfolios including both consumer-packaged goods and ingredients for industrial and food service customers, coupled with our proximity to global shipping infrastructure, Darigold is poised to become a global leader in the dairy sector. Strengthening our international leadership team now will help us leverage that leadership opportunity in the years to come, building additional value for the family farms that own our co-op.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), domestic demand for dairy grew at 1.6% in 2021, while demand for dairy exports rose by 19%. Very few countries have excess production capacity, giving US dairy producers a unique opportunity to benefit from growing global demand.

Quinn initially joined Darigold’s global sales group in 2018, with a strong background in international business, serving most recently in senior level positions with Leprino Foods and White Wave Foods (now part of Danone). In this expanded capacity, Quinn will lead global manufacturing, account engagement and market development for Darigold’s class III and IV business (which includes such products as cheese, butter, and powdered milk products).

Lezama joined Darigold in 2019 to help establish the co-op’s Mexico City office, managing client relationships and business operations initially focused on Mexico. In her expanded role as managing director, she represents Darigold’s complete product portfolio and oversees business execution for all of Latin America. Prior to joining Darigold, she held a variety of senior positions in marketing and finance with such companies as Louis Dreyfus Company and Ernst & Young.

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